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HR is overlooking Baby Boomers in favour of grooming younger talent

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With more and more older professionals wishing to remain in the workforce, it has become increasingly crucial for HR leaders to sufficiently address their corporate needs and wants.

But that, perhaps, might not be happening, according to new research by Ashridge.

Titled ‘Don’t Put Baby Boomers in the Corner: Realizing the Potential of the over 50s at work’, the report canvassed responses from 2,000 plus over 50s, as well as HR staff working in organisations that employ Baby Boomers.

The report highlighted that older workers want interesting work, a sense of achievement, pride and being able to leave a legacy.  They are still ambitious, want challenging jobs and are hungry for continued growth and career development.

Surprisingly, HR professionals, however, together with managers across the wider business, were found to be more focused on developing the younger generations to fulfill their potential.

Older workers were, in fact, found to be often overlooked when it comes to training.

ALSO READ: Dispelling myths about the older workforce

“The findings show that HR has a tendency to focus on retirement planning, rather than helping older workers use their skills and expertise for the benefit of the business,” the report stated.

“As a result older employees – many of whom have up to another 20 years left to work – are effectively being shoved in the corner and are frustrated and demotivated by not being able to develop their careers, contribute to business growth and pass their valuable knowledge and insights onto younger workers.”

The research also highlighted the fact that HR and older workers see training and development in a very different light.

Only 1% of HR respondents, ironically, felt older workers needed career development, while Baby Boomers themselves were hungry for development that would help them take up new job opportunities, shift into more strategic roles or develop portfolio careers.

The report also delved into the various practical actions organisations could take to help over 50s maximise their contribution and continue to thrive at work.

“These included taking a more individual and informal approach to career discussions, introducing coaching and mentoring initiatives and exploring options for older workers to get involved in advisory roles or special projects,” the report stated.

Image: Shutterstock

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